Are Your Children Over-scheduled?

Sharing with us today is Paula Alflen, creator of Printoons. Check our the Printoons kits we provide: Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, and Nativity.

Are Your Children Over-scheduled?

Most of us had days growing up when we actually did “nothing.” We would be gone for six hours and when we got home for dinner our parents would ask us what we did all day. Our reply would be, “nothing.” Oh how misguided we were! I have determined that doing “nothing” is actually a skill these days, because many kids do not know how to do it. There are fewer children that can make necklace chains out of dandelions, paint rocks to look like animals, whistle with a blade of grass between their thumbs, catch fireflies in a jar to make a lantern, form beautiful pies out of mud, construct teepees with sticks, etc. I am sure you could add a few more memories to this list. Ask yourself if your own children have these creative, unscheduled opportunities.

Many of our kids are growing up to be “human doings” instead of “human beings.” We as parents want them to excel in so many things, to have every opportunity that we didn’t have. Our kids are stressed and over-scheduled participating in dance, sports, tutoring, clubs, pageants, groups, camps, etc. I have seen kids panic when they have a day with “nothing to do.” They do not know how to entertain themselves.

Our children need to know that their value is not about having a lot of talent, intelligence or beauty. Our job is to help our kids learn to be themselves, loved and cherished for their existence. Their value needs to be separate from their performance. They need to know their family, friends, and God all love them because they are a wonderful soul. Our job is not to make our kids into what we want them to be, but to help them find out who they are. Watch what your kids do when they have unscheduled time, often this will give you great insight into their true talents and interests. Our children need the gift of time and space, days of just doing “nothing” so their beautiful soul can shine through.